Knowledge is Power:
Network Visibility and Effective Reporting

Download PDF

The Importance of Network Visibility

IT administrators are accountable for a growing number of tasks, such as, ensuring network health and optimization, facilitating productivity, limiting liability, and satisfying regulatory compliance. To correctly set usage policies and budget computing resources to meet these responsibilities, IT administrators need to know exactly what is going on in the network at all times.

To ensure the network runs smoothly and stays healthy, IT professionals need to know about:

  • Bandwidth usage at any given time
  • Peak bandwidth usage
  • Bandwidth use trends
  • TCP connections usage
  • Virus/malware infiltration
  • Data leakage occurrences
  • Bandwidth usage by individuals
  • Bandwidth-intensive site usage, such as streaming media

To keep users productive and safe, IT administrators need to know about:

  • Sites users are spending time on: productive or time-wasting
  • Users causing liability issues like violating copyrights or engaging in inappropriate online behavior
  • Whether students are accessing inappropriate sites for their age group
  • Users being victims of inappropriate online behavior, such as cyberbullying
  • Online activities by off-network users and remote devices

Need for Wide Range of Reports

Network data reports range from high level overviews to in-depth forensic analysis. Sometimes a simple, top-level view of the most important network statistics is all that’s needed to see how things are going. Often though, detailed information is necessary to find the cause of a problem or help determine the right policy changes. In-depth reports let administrators drill down and get to the source of an issue so they can fix it. For management, presentation reports are available that summarize network action and cover only the areas they are interested in.

Another way to receive network information is with immediate alerting or real-time feedback. This is advisable for events that require immediate action, such as a data leak.

Common Shortcomings

Although reporting is a critical tool for network administrators, many networking products do not provide adequate reports for a number of reasons:
  • Costly: Customers are required to purchase additional hardware and/or separate licenses. This makes the product more expensive and IT budgeting less predictable.
  • Useless: The product provides unformatted log files that are voluminous and indigestible. Helpful information is nearly impossible to extract.
  • Labor-intensive: There are not pre-defined reports ready to go. Getting useful reports is timeconsuming and wastes IT resources.
  • Disconnected: The information is located in multiple locations, with no easy way to navigate to it. Finding the needed data is too difficult.

Barracuda: Comprehensive Network Visibility and Alerting

Extensive, Integrated Reports:

Barracuda understands the importance of providing comprehensive, flexible, easy-to-use reports. Our integrated, native reporting engine can generate more than 70 different reports, covering all aspects of monitored online activity. Reports can be based on user activity, domains, categories, or action taken.

Summary Reports:

These sets of reports show a consolidated view of network and user activity.

Flexible Delivery:

Administrators can quickly select criteria and view a report right away, or have reports automatically emailed or archived to network shares at specified intervals. Syslog files can be exported to a syslog server.

Multiple Formats:

Reports are available in HTML, PDF, text, or CSV formats.

Trends:

View trends over time including bandwidth usage, aggregate number of web requests, and policies

Suspicious Activity Alerts:

These alerts enable admins to take immediate action against suspicious activities like data leakage and cyberbullying.

Centralized Reporting:

Manage, view, and consolidate reports (and many other features) for multiple web security gateways from a single location with Barracuda Cloud Control (included at no additional cost).

Custom Dashboards:

Create and modify dashboards to gain quick insight into important network statistics.

Malware Infection Activity:

This report shows detected malware infections on client computers as well as harmful downloads that were prevented.

Web/Application Logs:

Comprehensive web/application logs with powerful filtering capabilities list every event that took place in the network, letting admins hone in to a specific occurrence.

Malware Infection Activity:

Activity taking place on social networking sites, search engines, and other interactive sites is monitored by productivity and safety indicators. These interactions can also be archived for compliance, and eDiscovery support.

Remote Devices Log:

This log shows network activity taking place on remote devices, and where those devices have been.

Remote Activity Log:

Online activity of off-network devices is recorded within the web log.

Superior Network Visibility with Barracuda Web Security Solutions

The Barracuda Web Security Gateway, the Barracuda Web Security Gateway virtual appliance, and the Barracuda Web Security Service provide complete visibility into all user activity, letting administrators create and enforce effective content and access policies. Included free are unlimited agents and software licenses to enforce policies and monitor activity on mobile devices being used outside the network.

Barracuda Web Security Gateway Reports

Productivity

  • Internet Activity Summary Report
  • Network Activity Summary Report
  • Top Social Networking Domains by Requests
  • Top Users by Browse Time on Social Networking Sites
  • Top Facebook Users by Browse Time
  • Top Streaming Media Domains by Requests
  • Top Streaming Media Domains by Bandwidth
  • Top Users by Bandwidth on Streaming Media Sites
  • Top Users by Browse Time on Streaming Media Sites
  • Top YouTube Users by Bandwidth
  • Top YouTube Users by Browse Time
  • Top Gaming Domains by Requests
  • Top Users by Bandwidth on Gaming Sites
  • Top Users by Browse Time on Gaming Sites
  • Top Users by Blocked Requests

Web Activity

  • Requests by Hour
  • Bandwidth by Hour
  • Number of Sessions by Hour
  • Session Time by Hour
  • Browse Time by Hour
  • Requests by Time of Day
  • Bandwidth by Time of Day
  • Number of Sessions by Time of Day
  • Session Time by Time of Day
  • Browse Time by Time of Day
  • Source IPs by Requests
  • Destination IPs by Requests
  • Sessions by Users

Safety & Liability

  • Top Users by Requests to Adult/Pornography/Nudity Sites
  • Top Users by Requests to Anonymizer Sites
  • Top Users by Requests to File Sharing/P2P Sites
  • Top Users by Requests to Intolerance and Hate Sites
  • Top Users by Requests to Spyware Sites
  • Top Users by Requests to Weapons/Violence and Terrorism Sites
  • Top Suspicious Keywords
  • Suspicious Keywords by Users
  • Search Queries by User

Web Activity

  • Categories by Requests
  • Categories by Bandwidth
  • Categories by Number of Sessions
  • Categories by Session Time
  • Categories by Browse Time
  • Categories by Users
  • Domains by Requests
  • Domains by Bandwidth
  • Domains by Number of Sessions
  • Domains by Session Time
  • Domains by Browse Time
  • Domains by Users
  • Users by Requests
  • Users by Bandwidth
  • Users by Number of Sessions
  • Users by Session Time
  • Users by Browse Time

Network Activity

  • Total Usage
  • TCP Connection Usage
  • TCP Connection Log
  • Daily Requests
  • Daily Bandwidth
  • Actions By Hour
  • Actions by Time of Day
  • Web Requests Log
  • Web Requests Summary

Infection Activity

  • Application Blocks
  • Malware Blocks
  • Virus Blocks
  • Infected Clients
  • Spyware Sites

Administrative Reports

  • Audit Log
  • Temporary Access Request Log
  • Categories By Temporary Access Requests
  • Domains By Temporary Access Requests
  • Users By Temporary Access Requests